The match began with a bang with both teams moving the ball down the court swiftly and scoring from fast breaks. Some tight defence ensured the Hawks made a few turnovers which resulted in an early lead for the visitors. Mubbasher was superb in orchestrating the offence as the Hawks began to click and they finished the first quarter up 20-27
Some strong offence and aggressive defence from the home side saw the Royals close the gap to 2 points. The full squad allowed the Royals to rotate their bench frequently ensuring fatigue wasn’t setting in. However great hussle defence from a returning Russ, Rimas and Lee saw the Hawks build the lead back up to 9 points, 34-43
After such a good start in the first half things were looking positive. However in the 3rd quarter the Royals executed very tight intense full court press on defence which had the Hawks forcing hurried 50/50 passes. On the defensive end the Hawks were allowing too many inside passes as the home side’s offence began to gel well. This led to the gap closing and the Hawks holding a very slender lead going into the final quarter. Scores were 54-59
The Hawks had a squad of just 7 which meant fatigue was becoming an increasing factor. All players giving their all but once again not stringing good enough passes together as the Royals full court press was working to great effect. The Royals managed to claim their first lead of the game with just a few minutes remaining. Unfortunately Rimas fouled out with just 3 minutes on the clock after putting in a huge performance on offence. The Hawks scrambled well but turned the ball over with a minute to play which led to the Royals gaining a 4 point lead. After a valiant effort the Hawks were exhausted and went down 81-75 in the end. A tough pill to swallow given they were up for 37 of the 40 minutes. It was a thrilling game where both teams gave their all, but the Royals were worthy winners in the end.
Written By: Jordan Maze